During the holidays, we go to many parties and gatherings. Many times, I’m asked to bring an appetizer. Unfortunately, I’ll often remember about 15 minutes before we need to leave the house! For that reason, I like to keep a few rounds of brie cheese in my refrigerator. I can make a simple brie cheese truly elegant with a few everyday ingredients that come straight from my pantry.
When embellishing a round of brie cheese, I like to pair something sweet (jelly, jam, chutney, dried fruit, caramel sauce) with something crunchy (almonds, pecans, pepitas, walnuts). If I have some on hand, I also like to add an earthy tone with fresh herbs, like thyme and rosemary. My favorite combination is apple jelly, toasted almonds and fresh thyme.
One evening when I found myself in a pinch, I put this combination together. I found some dried fruit and pecans in my cabinet. That alone would have made for a great appetizer, but I decided to take it a step further. I melted together maple syrup, brown sugar and some orange liqueur. I poured that over the top of a gently warmed wheel of brie, and a new favorite appetizer was created!